“if you will…you can become all flame”

From Fr Stephan:

Of greater interest to me (my faith in Christ’s resurrection from the dead has nothing to do with the nature of the phenomenon of the Holy Fire), is the fire spoken of by the Desert Fathers, when we are urged to become flame.

Abba Lot went to see Abba Joseph and said to him, ‘Abba as far as I can I say my little office, I fast a little, I pray and meditate, I live in peace and as far as I can, I purify my thoughts. What else can I do?’ then the old man stood up and stretched his hands towards heaven. His fingers became like ten lamps of fire and he said to him, ‘If you will, you can become all flame.’

This fire can consume our passions, consume our hearts with the love of God. It can consume our desire for worldly things and set us on the path of salvation. There is a fire that can be ours – and burn endlessly without consuming. But there will be no advertisements or movements which shout to us, “Come to this city or that city and experience the Holy Fire.” Indeed bathing in the Holy Fire in Jerusalmen will not change your life. Like all fire that changes us, only the fire of ascetism and true yearning for God will change us. And then we will shine like the sun.

For God, who commanded the light to shine out of darkness, hath shined in our hearts, to give the light of the knowledge of the glory of God in the face of Jesus Christ. (2 Cor. 4:6)

This is the great miracle for which our heart yearns – to know in our inmost self that God has become man, and in turn has called us to union with Himself. Anything less would be nothingness.

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4 thoughts on ““if you will…you can become all flame”

  1. I am such a fan of the mystic tradition of the Christian faith. It is all too often the “weird cousin” of the family, rarely talked about and it is deeply hoped that they wont’ show up at family reunions. But there is something that we in conservative evangelical circles miss about our own heritage when we skip over the mysteries of Christ and our union with Him.

    Besides, how cool would it be if I could stretch my hands towards heaven and have my fingers became like ten lamps of fire.

  2. tex,

    ALWAYS good to hear from you. and it would be TOOL cool to be all aflame. i can only hope for a spark every once and a while.

    dr. elwin,

    thanks darlin! of course i thought the pic was one of the best things about the post.

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